Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tree painting

During Christmas Christmas we had our tree in the living room between the door and TV. This seemed an ideal position and when we removed it in January the wall seemed empty. There was an open space that made the room look odd and we needed something to fill it.

After I was done with Carina's closet doors (see them here). I had some wood and cloth left, and thought that I can use it to create a painting of a tree to give the room a better feel. The main problem being however that I have never painted anything worth displaying and I started this project with the idea that I can burn it if I got negative reviews...

At the end it turned out OK and, at least, it fills the space on the wall. Following is a video of the painting - note that it is sped up to only a few minutes since a 7  hour process may be a bit tedious to watch.

Painting done and in place
The wood, however, is just plain pine that was stained and sanded repeatedly. Below is a series of pictures of the changes.
2x4 cm pine - cut to lenght
Everything going to plan - thus far
Staining of wood
Colour steps: A small block of original coloured pine with a stained piece below it (2 coats with sanding between). A the bottom the final product after sanding and lots of polishing with oil. 

The assembly of the frame and the adding of the cloth was done in a similar fashion as the closet doors:
Home made corner pieces from scrap aluminium
Corner piece added temporarily while glue is drying - also some branding added
Frame done
Adding the cloth after cutting it to the correct size and ironing it
Bottom section stapled down - I used cardboard strips to roll the cloth onto and keep it straight, see post on closet doors for details
All sides done
Corner pieces added to support frame
Frame completed and cloth added

I am not sure how common it is to fame the cloth prior to painting but this is the way I did it. The last part was thus to paint the tree and again I turned to the interwebs for some inspiration. After looking many many tree pictures I found one that I liked. After a bit of photo-shopping I enlarged it and used it as a backing to help get the layout correct when painting.
Testing the figure layout in the frame (note this was prior to adding the cloth)
Picture stick to table and covered with clingfilm
Home made "tripod" to film the painting process
Working from several versions to get the layout correct - but with loads of improvisation
Final product prior to hanging.

The wall, obviously, seem less empty with the painting (There is still one large open area that makes the whole living room feel unbalanced. Here however we will place the 5000 piece puzzle once it is finished but more about this monstrous project later). I enjoyed this project but do not think I will quit my job to become a painter. I will however try to do more woodwork and will post more on this as it happens...


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book binding

With all the projects that I have in mind and all the things that I need to remember to do I needed a notebook. I thought I will try my hand at binding a book and here is the result:
Denim bound book

Notes for next project

Clean pages

I am reasonably pleased with the outcome although I had to make some serious adjustments halfway through the process (see later). Below are the steps I followed to produce a denim bound book.
Main materials of a book
Folding each page
Clamping pages and adding glue - a thin cloth is also added

The casing of this book is made by cardboard. I used two pieces glued together at an angle (around 10 degree offset). This  is to provide a bit more strength as this cardboard bend much easier in one dimension - now not possible anymore.
Gluing cardboard pieces
Getting sizes for the casing

All the elements for the book
Casing done
Book without pages
Gluing the pages in

At this stage I found a mistake. After the pages was glued to the inside and the front and back pages were glued to the case the spine was a bit too wide. I thought this was how it was supposed to be but apparently it is not. I thus removed the text block (all the pages glued togehter) and added more pages - in effect doubling the amount of pages.
Case where text block was removed

After this things worked much better.
Second round of finishing everything
Final product - still slightly wet

I am impressed with the general feel and look of the book and will definitely do more book binding. For my next book I am going to use leather and wood and have an idea that, I think, will make it quite unique. I will post it once it is done ... or the attempt if it turns out to be a mere "experiment".